TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Saturday (Aug. 14) thanked Washington for exercising its role as the global leader of democracies by organizing a phone call between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis.
In a press release, MOFA also expressed gratitude for American support for democratic countries facing coercion from neighboring authoritarian regimes. The ministry said that since President Joe Biden took office, he has continued to support Taipei amid the concerns posed by China's threats toward Taiwan and other countries.
MOFA said it will continue to promote friendly relations with all like-minded countries and mutually beneficial exchanges. “Taiwan, as a force of good in the world, will continue to defend democracy, the rule of law, and protect human rights, and will not shrink from external pressures,” the ministry said, adding that it will also work closely with the U.S. to expand Taiwan's international space.
Sherman spoke with Landsbergis on Friday (Aug. 13), discussing the strength of U.S.-Lithuanian bilateral relations, how to bolster U.S.-EU cooperation, including on China, and ways to promote peace, prosperity, and security across the Atlantic and around the world, per a U.S. State Department press release. The American diplomat pledged that Washington will continue to stand by Vilnius’ side “in the face of the People’s Republic of China’s recent coercive behavior in response to Lithuania’s decision to develop mutually beneficial ties with Taiwan.”
After Taiwan and Lithuania last month announced plans to mutually establish representative offices later in the year, China immediately voiced opposition. Most troubling to China was the fact that the name "Taiwan Representative Office in Lithuania" was approved for Taiwan's office, and Beijing claims this violates the "one-China" principle.
Despite China's demand that Lithuania cancel the plan, the latter remained steadfast in its decision, and China subsequently withdrew its ambassador to Lithuania and told the Baltic nation to recall its own envoy. Lithuania's China ambassador will return home once she has finished her quarantine in Beijing.